Yorkshire's Strictly ex-champs to give free dance lessons at City Limits

Strictly Come Dancing ex-champs Lilia and Darren
Strictly Come Dancing ex-champs Lilia and Darren
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Yorkshire's Strictly Come Dancing ex-champions Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova will quick step back home this weekend - to give free dance lessons to fans.

It coincides with the start of a new season of the hit BBC One show.

Strictly's most successful couple, now parents to one-year-old Valentina Rose, are returning to their family's City Limits Dancentre studio in Penistone Road, Sheffield.

They will take part in free taster sessions on Saturday, September 3, from noon to 2pm. Full details and more at www.city-limits.co.uk
City Limits is run by Sheffield born Darren's parents, former dance champions, Tony and Judith, and his twin brother Dale.

Darren, aged 39, and his Moscow wife Lilia, 37, are the most successful competitor couple of their generation, winning four British amateur championships, three UK championships and representing Great Britain at the World and European Championships.

They turned professional in 2003, winning the British National Professional Championship two years running and made the final of the World and European Championships.

But they became household names when they joined the cast of Strictly Come Dancing in 2004 and won the show in consecutive years.

At his first attempt Darren, dancing with Jill Halfpenny from Eastenders, won the show and then went on to win the Champion of Champions dance off.

In 2005, Lilia waltzed off with the title while partnering Barnsley's own former Yorkshire and England cricketing star Darren Gough, after which they also went on to win the International Christmas special.

They went on to host their own West End show, Latin Fever, which they toured nationally and are today still regarded as one of Britain’s finest Latin American dance couples.

More recently they have worked on the Turkish and Lebanese versions of the Strictly TV show, Darren, born in Deepcar and brought up in Todwick, as a judge and Lilia as a consultant choreographer to the professional dancers.

Darren has also consulted on Danse Avec la Stars, the first series of the French version of Dancing with the Stars.

As well as being successful competitors and performers they have built up an International reputation as coaches, choreographers and first class trainers in both dance and corporate arenas.

They have also trained many of the top junior, youth and amateur couples, including the British Junior champions and No. 1 youth couple in the UK.

Darren's twin Dale said: "Strictly is back and we have Darren and Lilia joining us for an open day, with free taster sessions for children and adults to come along and see what being a student at City Limits is like.

"Fans can take part in one of our Ballroom and Latin classes led by Darren and Lilia.

"It runs from 2pm until 4pm, and we have a timetable of taster sessions throughout the day. Plus visitors can chat to our teachers and find out more about our new beginners' classes starting in September.

OPEN DAY TASTER CLASS SESSIONS

12.15-12.45pm: BALLROOM & LATIN WITH DARREN AND LILIA ALL AGES

12.30-1.00pm: STREETDANCE FOR ALL AGES 4-ADULT

12.30-1pm: BABY BALLET AND TAP

1.00-1.30pm : SALSA AND LATIN WITH DARREN AND LILIA

1.15-2pm: ZUMBA AND FITSTEPS TASTER

1.15-1.45pm: ADULT TAP

The pole fitness studio will also be open, for demonstrations and free workshops, from 12-2pm.

There will also be three Ballroom and Latin technique workshops for those wishing to develop their skills

2pm: Juvenile (under 12's), 45min, cost £5.

2.45pm: Junior (age 12 to 15), 45min, cost £5.

3.30pm, - Adult (age 16+), 60min, cost £8.

For more information about the open day and new class timetable, call he studio on 0114 234 4866 or visit www.city-limits.co.uk
Also visit Darren and Lilia's official website at www.darrenandlilia.com
* Strictly Come Dancing has confirmed this year's celebrity cast for the show, which returns on BBC One on Saturday, September 3, 6.50pm.

The line-up features EastEnders actor Tameka Empson, Birds of a Feather’s Lesley Joseph, former shadow chancellor Ed Balls, Pop Idol winner Will Young, former Eternal singer Louise Redknapp, actor Danny Mac, newsreader Naga Munchetty, reality TV’s Judge Rinder, US singer Anastacia, model Daisy Lowe, GB long-jumper Greg Rutherford, gymnast Claudia Fragapane, presenters Laura Whitmore and Ore Oduba, DJ and presenter Melvin Odoom.

TV stars Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be on hosting duties with the judging panel of Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and – in his final year – Len Goodman. For more visit www.bbc.co.uk

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